On Fri, 3 Aug 2001, Roger Mills wrote:
> Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
> >> And I thought seven was a lot.
> My 5gr-grandfather produced 13, all of whom lived-- quite amazing in the
> late 1700s. (It seems he may have been Welsh, his wife certainly was)
I suppose there are large families in my family's past, too, but records
on my mom's side were lost during the Japanese occupation/Korean War
confusion, and my dad's grandfather was illiterate, so we have no clue
what was up with that side of the family. My mom has <Counting> 3
sisters and 2 brothers...gosh, that is big.
> ><wince> Heck, parents today think their single kid Johnny (etc.) is too
> >much of a handful. How *did* they do it?
> My grandfather was the last of 9 children; his mother died a year or two
> after his birth, and he was tended to mostly by his older sister, who was
> around 12.
Now that you mention it, I remember my mom talking about that--being
taken care of by sibs, and taking care of the younger ones in turn.
As for me...<completely embarrassed look> My mom always said I should
*never* be a babysitter because I'd end up pitching the kid out the
window or something.
> >(Teaching isn't the same as parenting, but one wonders--with some
> >trepidation--how one manages to keep a room of 20 kids from killing each
> >other without being punitive.)
> I wonder too. Looking back on schooldays in the 1940s (there were at least
> 30 in my grade), I think we kids behaved remarkably well. Of course, our
> teachers (all women-- I didn't encounter a male teacher until high school)
> were often genuine battle-axes and greatly to be feared. Ah me, autre
> temps, autres moeurs......
Vraiment. OTOH I read accounts of how classes used to be taught and I
come to the conclusion that I would be a troublemaker by a) asking
"smart-aleck" questions along the lines of, What about quarks? Or the
square root of negative one?--after all that time saying you can't take
square roots of negatives, when they taught us imaginary numbers, even
though a friend and I independently sort of thought you could invent one
and call it something and go from there, my reaction was, "You lied to
me!" b) I would also be drawing pictures, making paper airplanes,
I have this sneaking suspicion that in the Korean school system of my
mom's day I would have been kicked out and become a delinquent or
something, with my only redeeming feature a love for books. <sigh>
Then again, you look at all the things kids are forced to confront these
days...several kids at the summer school where we were student-teaching
were kicked out for gang associations and "showing the colors." :-(
These are middle schoolers...they're so small, so insecure, trying so
hard to figure out what's what...and they're dealing with violence,
drugs, single moms and deadbeat dads (or vice versa), people who tell
them they're stupid or hopeless because they're black or Latino or
female or Filipino...
Which is not to say kids way back when didn't have their issues, but I
don't know as much about it. :-/